Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stroke his worst campaign instincts

Donald Trump expanded? shook up? his campaign staff. The new guy at the head of the campaign staff is Steve Bannon. His most recent job was to run the Breitbart News website. And Breitbart News is a hard-right site that promotes conspiracy theories. It even makes some of them up. Bannon and Trump should get along just fine. Hunter of Daily Kos said the move
is tailor-made to stroke Donald Trump's worst campaign instincts, most ridiculous claims, and most reckless behaviors.
Many conservatives are wondering if this is an admission that the campaign is over and for the next two months Trump will take out as many friends and foes as he can. There will be conspiracy-peddling, hostility towards immigrants, howls of election rigging, and all the rest, carried at a much higher volume.

Ian Millhiser, in a series of tweets, takes a look at GOP myths. First myth: conservatives make up a majority of voters (so who is in the White House now?). Second myth: Speaker Paul Ryan has a mandate to implement his ruinous budget even though he is essentially supported by only corporations. Third myth: The winner runs the show and everyone else is a loser. There is no such thing as a coalition.

Good to see the Department of Justice is recognizing that prisons run by corporations are less safe and less effective in providing correctional services. They also skimp on housing, food, and medical care. In addition the cost savings is a lot less than predicted. Because of all that the DOJ use of corporate prisons will be phased out.

Shares of two corporations that run prisons dropped sharply and became volatile. But don't worry. Most inmates in these places are placed there by the states. And I'm sure a lot of GOP governors are not going to tear up their contracts.

Prisons should not be run for profit. Same for health care and education.

Travis Rieder, a philosopher with the Berman Institute of Bioethics ad John Hopkins University, is working to convince students and other young adults to limit the number of children they have. Zero would be good. He says it is a moral issue. As the climate heats up things will get pretty severe over the next two decades. During that time the human population is expected to grow by a couple billion. The reasons: Do we really want to subject our kids to that kind of a world? We could go a long way towards mitigating the worst effects of climate change simply by having fewer kids. Is it ethical to have an American child, who will use up lots of the earth's resources, when it is a child in a poor country who will face the greater consequences of a world with a hot climate?

It doesn't look good for Americans to tell other countries to not have kids. So some ideas: put family planning ideas in the plots of soap operas. Pay women to refill birth control medications. Replace tax breaks for children with a penalty – a carbon tax on kids.

So what is easier? Engineer clouds and oceans to suck carbon out of the air? Overhaul the global system of capitalism? Make fewer babies? We actually know how to do the last one.

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